Mahamudra and Medicine Buddha Teachings

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Crestone, Colorado (Archive #1711)

Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave these teachings at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado, in June 2008.  The teachings include the oral transmission of the First Panchen Lama's root text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra and the Medicine Buddha jenang. The transcripts have been edited by Ven Ailsa Cameron.

You can listen online to these teachings and follow along with the unedited transcript here.

Third Discourse, 6 June 2008

Basically, there are sutra mahamudra and tantra mahamudra. Tantra mahamudra is the clear light of example and the clear light of meaning. The clear light is extremely subtle. Your mind can be divided into gross mind, subtle mind and extremely subtle mind; and your body into gross body, subtle body and extremely subtle body. Of the three levels of mind, clear light has to do with the extremely subtle mind.

Through the Six Yogas of Naropa and so forth, you bring the wind from the other channels into the central channel, where it abides and then absorbs. There are three things: entering, abiding and absorbing. There are external signs when the wind enters, abides and absorbs in the central channel. The breath from the two nostrils becomes equal and the stomach does not move with breathing. When the wind then absorbs, you experience the twenty-five absorptions while you are alive. The twenty-five absorptions normally happen at the time of death for human beings and for animals. The twenty-five absorptions comprise absorption of the five wisdoms, the five aggregates, the four elements and so forth. Outer signs and inner visions happen, including the white appearance, red increase and dark near-attainment. During the times of those three visions, the mind becomes subtle. The last one, after that, is the clear light. This extremely subtle mind appears after all the gross minds have been absorbed.

During that time there is experience of the four blisses, and it is the mind of simultaneously born great bliss that realizes emptiness, though this is still not directly seeing emptiness, but realizing it through imagination, conceptualization. That is the clear light of example, which can happen at the time of death and during life when, through meditation, you’re able to make your chakras, winds and drops serviceable.

After that you achieve the illusory body, though it is the impure illusory body because delusions are still present. After that you achieve the clear light of meaning, with direct perception of emptiness. So, in regard to mahamudra, there are different levels. Anyway, the clear light of meaning directly ceases the defilements, the disturbing-thought obscurations. You then achieve the pure illusory body. After that you achieve the unification of those two: the pure illusory body and the clear light of meaning. That unification is still the path of learning. Then, as a result of that, you then achieve the path of no more learning, the state of Vajradhara.

So, this is, roughly, how you achieve tantra mahamudra. Of course, to be able to meditate on that you need to have received the secret initiation of Highest Yoga Tantra, the initiation that is granted by giving secret substances. Only then can you meditate on this completion path of Highest Yoga Tantra.

To be able to meditate on unification, you need to have received the fourth Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, the word initiation. To be able to meditate on the illusory body you need to have received the Highest Yoga Tantra wisdom initiation, which blesses your chakras, winds and drops and ripens the potential to achieve the illusory body. There are incredible things there in that initiation to bless your chakras, wind and drops so that later they become serviceable.

You need to receive the secret initiation, which definitely plants the seed of the sambhogakaya, the holy body of the deity; then the wisdom initiation, which definitely plants the seed to achieve the svabhavikakaya, the holy body of nature, or the nature truth body; and then the word initiation, which definitely plants the seed to achieve the unification of no more learning, which is the ultimate goal to be achieved. All this is based on the first initiation, the vase initiation. You need to receive the vase initiation so that you’re qualified to meditate on the generation stage. The vase initiation definitely plants the seed in the mental continuum to achieve the result, the nirmanakaya, the holy body of transformation.

To be able to achieve those paths of clear light, illusory body and unification, you need to have realization of the generation stage, gross and subtle.

So, here I want to say that it’s not possible to achieve those realizations of clear light and the illusory body without having actualized bodhicitta. Without bodhicitta, you can have realizations of the generation stage but not of the completion stage, not of clear light, illusory body and unification. You can’t have realization of the extremely subtle mind that directly sees emptiness through bliss. Otherwise, you would be achieving enlightenment without bodhicitta; you would be able to cease the subtle defilements (arhats cease the gross defilements) and become a buddha without bodhicitta. Becoming a buddha without bodhicitta would be like making ice cream without cream or pizza without flour.

To become a buddha you need unimaginable merits. It’s like a fund. If you’re going to do a billion dollar project, you need a billion dollars; it’s not possible to do a billion dollar project without the billion dollars. With the support of all this unimaginable merit, you are able to actualize the subtle mind and cease the disturbing-thought obscurations, and with direct perception of emptiness, you are then able to cease the subtle defilements. Here, you definitely need the support of bodhicitta, which is like the billion dollars. Without bodhicitta, you cannot do it.

You don’t just meditate on bodhicitta and have a good heart. You have to have the actual realization of bodhicitta. The example is given in the texts of child falling into a fire. A brother, sister or some other relative of that child will wish the child to be free from the fire but won’t actually rescue them. The child’s father (the texts say the father, but it could also be the mother) takes full responsibility for jumping into the fire and rescuing their child. It is like that here. You have to take the full responsibility upon yourself. In Tibetan it’s called lhagsam, which I translate as “special attitude.” With this attitude, with total determination, you take the responsibility upon yourself to liberate sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to full enlightenment. So, this is an amazing quality of mind, power of mind. It is amazing to be able to generate this thought and actualize the realization.

So, it’s not that you have to put effort into thinking in this way. Of course, at the beginning you have to put in effort for a long time to think in that way; but then gradually it becomes the realization, spontaneously arising without any effort. After putting effort for a long time into training your mind, your mind naturally, spontaneously, has the thought to do that work and achieve enlightenment. This extraordinary principal consciousness has two intentions, two wishes: seeking the works for other sentient beings and seeking enlightenment for oneself. These two wishes have the five similarities with bodhicitta. To have to put in effort to feel this. I mean, at the very beginning you probably won’t feel much, though it depends on an individual person’s karma. Sometimes there’s no special feeling about “bodhicitta” or “achieving enlightenment for sentient beings.” They’re just words. Then gradually, on the basis of developing the stages of meditation that lead to bodhicitta, you have this thought spontaneously arising, day and night, all the time. I guess that when those who have realized bodhicitta see sentient beings, whether people or animals, naturally, spontaneously, want to achieve enlightenment for them. That is happening all the time, except for when they are in equipoise meditation on emptiness, actually experiencing emptiness. In the post-meditation period, when they arise from meditation, they again have the spontaneous arising of bodhicitta.

Bodhicitta is essential. Actualizing bodhicitta should be our main project in this life.

If you have that goal all the time, everything you do you will be doing for that. If you have that goal in your heart, everything you do will be to actualize that.

Now, the realization of bodhicitta is based on another realization, like the second story of a house depends on the first story. bodhicitta depends on renunciation, the determination to be free from the whole of samsara, including its cause, karma and delusion. Karma is a Sanskrit word that means action. Delusion is nyon mong pa, in Tibetan, which I translate as “obscuring, disturbing attitude.” A delusion is an attitude that disturbs your mental continuum instead of bringing peace. That’s the definition of delusion. I have added one more word, obscuring, to the English translation of nyon mong pa, because it has the feeling of obscuring, deluding or hallucinating you. I thought that adding the word “obscuring” shows the great harm that delusion does to you. By obscuring your mind, delusions cause obstacles, not allowing you to achieve the ultimate, everlasting happiness of liberation, freedom forever from the oceans of samsaric suffering of all the six realms and its cause, karma and delusion. I think that “obscuring” has great effect on the mind, helping you to feel what delusion is and the harm that it does to you.

Anyway, you realize how samsara and samsaric happiness are in the nature of suffering. It is because they’re in the nature of suffering that samsaric pleasures don’t last. This is why the samsaric pleasures of sleep, food, sex, going to the beach, hang-gliding and skydiving don’t last. With skydiving sometimes many people jump out of the plane and hold hands while they’re falling through space. And sometimes they can fall. You see many such things in the West. I saw one person use himself as a bullet, and he was shot from one place to the other side.

I don’t know what the scientists say, but the teachings of the Buddha explain why those pleasures, first of all, don’t increase, don’t become greater and greater, and why they don’t even last. It is because they are of the nature of suffering. When one suffering stops, another suffering begins, and we label “pleasure” on that feeling. Here I’m describing why it is of the nature of suffering.

In Lam-rim Chen-mo (Great Commentary on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment), Lama Tsongkhapa gives the example of getting hot in the sun. Once you understand this example, you can apply it to all the rest. You know how to meditate, how to discover, with everything else. Lama Tsongkhapa explains that when you have exposed your body to the sun, you become hot, and continuing that action of exposing yourself to the sun compounds the suffering feeling of heat. You then stop that action by entering cold water. By stopping that action, you stop that suffering of feeling hot. The second action of entering the cold water creates the discomfort of cold, but it is either unnoticeable or very small at the beginning. Entering the cold water compounded the second suffering of feeling cold, but because the previous suffering has stopped and the new suffering is either unnoticeable or small, you call it “pleasure.”

It’s not real happiness, true happiness. To the hallucinated mind, not to wisdom, it appeared as pleasure and is believed to be pleasure, and then attachment arises. As I normally explain, during that time, your mind merely imputes “pleasure” to that feeling, and after your mind has merely imputed it, it then appears to you as pleasure. Before your mind labels “pleasure,” there’s no appearance of it as pleasure. That appearance can never happen before your mind labels it pleasure. For this to appear as pleasure, first your mind has to label it. Your mind has to impute, “This is pleasure.” Even that is very subtle, extremely subtle. It is merely imputed, so nothing exists there from its own side. There’s nothing there from its own side.

After you have merely imputed “pleasure” in this way, the next moment when that pleasure that your mind has merely imputed appears back to you, it doesn’t appear as merely imputed. You have to understand that there’s a big hallucination here. Since the pleasure is merely imputed, it should appear back to you as merely imputed. Since that’s the reality, since that’s what it is, it should appear back to you in that way, but it doesn’t (unless you’re a buddha or an arya being in equipoise meditation on emptiness). Otherwise, until you become a buddha, everything that appears to you has a false appearance. Unless you are an arya being, such as a Hinayana arhat, who has the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness, and are in equipoise meditation or you are fully enlightened, which means you have purified the subtle defilements, the imprint left by ignorance, the concept of true existence, your entire world—I, action, object; hell, enlightenment; samsara, nirvana; happiness, problems—is covered by true existence. In the first moment, your mind merely imputes something, and then in the next moment the negative imprint left by past ignorance covers it with true existence. Everything, including your I, is merely imputed by mind. Your I, which walks, sits, sleeps and does all the other activities; all the activities; creating the cause of happiness, creating the cause of suffering; experiencing happiness, experiencing suffering—they all exist in mere name. This I, its actions and its experiences exist in mere name, merely imputed by mind. So, what I’m saying is right after that mere imputation, in the next moment, the negative imprint projects the dualistic view, which covers everything. The negative imprint projects inherent existence, which makes everything—self, action, object—real.

Wherever we look—inside at the people, the ceiling or the lights or outside at the sky, mountains or trees—everything appears to us to be something real, but all that is not true. This is the biggest hallucination. We’re living in the biggest hallucination, believing all this to be true, to really exist.

When I say this, you might think, “Maybe nothing exists.” I’m not saying that. The mere imputation is done on a valid base, which is also merely labeled by mind, but that valid base exists—it just doesn’t exist from its own side. Things exist, but they do not exist from their own side. Whatever we look at, whatever we listen to and whatever we smell appear to be real. When we hear a sound, we hear a real sound, in the sense of one existing from its own side. We hear a real bad sound or a real good sound from its own side. Whatever we smell, whether the smell of incense or the smell of someone’s fart, it appears to us to be a real smell from its own side. When we touch something, how do we experience it? There appears to be soft from its own side, from there, not from our mind; and there appears to be hard from its own side, a real hard, not from our mind.

So, all those are false. All those are projected by the negative imprint left on our mental continuum by past ignorance. This is what makes everything real. After the mind has merely imputed something, in the next moment a hallucination is decorated there on that object. The moment before, your mind merely imputed this or that, then true existence is decorated on that mere imputation. The Heruka sadhana, Yoga of Three Purifications, uses the particular term decorated, and that’s exactly how it is.

If you check the evolution in your life, if you check what is true and what is false, you find that you are living in a huge hallucination. I mentioned tantric mahamudra before, but here the very basic mahamudra is discovering in your life the false view that you have. Your mind is constantly merely imputing I, action, object, body and mind, seeing, hearing, smelling, touching and so forth, then this negative imprint left by past ignorance is constantly projecting this huge hallucination, making everything appear real to you.

Two or three weeks before I came here, I taught a two-week course in Mexico. I was telling the people there…. Maybe this is another subject, but it doesn’t matter. I was trying to explain to them about how we see the red and green traffic lights when we’re driving a car, though I think I must have used another example before I mentioned the lights.

I think the following example might be easier. Take the example of when you were a child and your school teacher or one of your parents was teaching you the ABC for the very first time. When your teacher drew the three lines that make up A on a piece of paper or a blackboard, what appeared to you? A didn’t appear to you. You didn’t think that the lines were A, because you hadn’t yet been taught that. You didn’t see this figure as A. Why not? Because your mind hadn’t labeled this figure as A. Why not? Because you hadn’t yet been taught that this figure is A. You just saw three lines. You didn’t see this figure as A, and it didn’t appear to you as A, because your mind hadn’t labeled it A and believed in that label.

Your teacher then told you that this figure is A, and you believed what they said. You also then labeled this figure A. By following what that person had just taught you, you then not only imputed but merely imputed A. Your mind merely imputed, “This is A.” You might merely thought of this label, A, and believed in it.

Next you have the appearance of this figure as A, and then, last, you see that this is A. So, to be able to see that figure as A, there is this whole evolution. Your seeing A doesn’t happen immediately. There is this gradual evolution.

Now, here, this meditation can be helpful for making the most important discovery of realizing what is false and what is true in your life. If you lack that realization, you are left with ignorance. And it is because of this ignorance that doesn’t know what it true and what is false and believes the false to be true, believes all the hallucinations to be reality, that we have been suffering, dying and being reborn in the six realms over and over and experiencing all the sufferings of each realm again and again during beginningless rebirths. During beginningless rebirths, we haven’t ceased this ignorance. We haven’t realized the truth, the emptiness, of the I and the aggregates, or phenomena. I’m not saying that nothing exists; I’m not talking about nihilism.

During beginningless rebirths, there’s been continuity of this ignorance, and that’s why we always have to die and be reborn. Why is this happening? Why are we always dying and being reborn? It’s due to ignorance. As I might also have mentioned yesterday, this ignorance is what creates death and rebirth, as well as all the sufferings in between. The Tibetan term for ignorance is ma rig pa, and [ti mu ten dzin ma rig pa] is the ignorance holding phenomena to be truly existent. While the I and the aggregates are not truly existent, while they are totally empty, this ignorance holds them to be truly existent. The same applies to all the rest of the phenomena.

So, what I was going to say is that this mahamudra is an unbelievable, unbelievable discovery. (I don’t know many English words so I have to use the same ones.)

Recognizing that this false view, which is a hallucination, is a hallucination. Through recognizing that this view is wrong, you then see emptiness. You then see the very nature of the I and the mind and of forms, sounds, smells, tastes and everything else. You then see the truth.

So, it seems it’s time to go to sleep. I think we can go to sleep in emptiness….

This is really an unbelievable change, because during beginningless rebirths you have been believing that the hallucination is the reality, that it is true. You have been believing that everything that appears to you is something real, something truly existent, something existing from its own side, something existing by nature. All these terms are just different names for the same thing. But if you think of the meaning of each word, it’s interesting. For example, [rang zhin kyi drub pa] means existing by nature. As I mentioned before, when we look at these flowers, they appear to us to be existing by nature. The red and green lights appear to us to be existing by nature. They also appear to be existing from their own side (rang ngon kyi drub pa) and truly existent (den par drub pa). Basically, these terms mean the same thing, but with each word you can say exactly how things appear to you and how you believe them to exist. However, they are exact terms for wrong views.

Because of that ignorance, you don’t see phenomena in the way that they exist. Phenomena, including I, action and object, exist in mere name, merely imputed by mind, but we don’t see that. What we believe to be true, to be reality, doesn’t exist.

However, one day, because of your strong guru devotion, you receive the blessings of the guru in your heart and along with that you have done intensive practice of purifying and of collecting merit, even a little meditation on just one or two words about hallucination from an experienced lama or from Buddha’s teachings, everything will click. For so many years you’ve been reading and reciting the words, but you haven’t felt it, you haven’t seen it. Your concept of the meaning of all these words—“truly existent,” “existence by nature,” “existence from its own side”—has been something else. Even when you debate on Lama Tsongkhapa’s teachings in the monastery (nowadays, because His Holiness emphasizes it very much, this way of studying Dharma through debate is also happening in some of the large Kagyu and Nyingma monasteries, in addition to learning the meaning of commentaries), you think of the meaning of those terms as something else. Even though you are saying the same words, your way of thinking isn’t correct; you’re thinking something different.

Anyway, on the day that all the causes and conditions come together, two or three words can be so powerful that everything immediately clicks. Your mind becomes like a mirror, and you are able to recognize the false I that you have been believing to be true not only from this morning, not only from birth, but from beginningless rebirths. At that moment you know that it’s totally not true. For those who have received the blessing of the guru and for whom all the causes and conditions have come together, realizing this is an unbelievable discovery, because from there, they can develop this ultimate wisdom. You first have the conceptual realization of emptiness. By developing that, combined with calm abiding, you then achieve great insight and experience the extremely refined rapturous ecstasy of body and mind. By developing that, you then achieve the wisdom directly perceiving emptiness; you achieve the exalted path. You can then directly cease your defilements.

The first Mahayana path is the path of the merit (tsog lam), which has small, middling and great levels. When you achieve the great path of merit, wherever you are, you see numberless buddhas in nirmanakaya aspect. No matter what you’re doing—working, cleaning, offering service to your guru—you see numberless buddhas, because your mind has become more pure.

Take Kadampa Geshe Chayulwa, for example. (Kadampa geshes are followers of Lama Atisha’s Kadampa lineage.) Geshe Chayulwa is usually mentioned as someone whose guru devotion practice was incomparable.

When Geshe Chayulwa was writing a text, the moment he heard his guru’s voice calling him, even if he was in the middle of writing the syllable “na,” he would immediately stop writing and run to serve his guru. Or if he was doing his practice of offering mandalas, even if he was in the middle of offering a mandala, the moment he heard his guru call, he would immediately stop and run to him.

One day Geshe Chayulwa cleaned the room of his guru, Kadampa Geshe Chen-ngawa. He put all the garbage in the lap of his robes and went to take it downstairs. When he reached the third step, he reached the level of realization of the great path of merit, so saw many buddhas in nirmanakaya aspect.

I’m talking here about the Mahayana path. Because of bodhicitta, even when you achieve the very first of the five Mahayana paths to enlightenment, the great level of the path of merit, you see numberless buddhas in nirmanakaya aspect.

The second path is called the preparatory path. This second path has four levels: heat, tip, patience and sublime Dharma. At the beginning, before an actual fire comes, the wood has to become hot. Like that, heat shows that this path is close to the path of seeing, where you have direct perception of emptiness, which is what directly ceases the defilements. Just as heat has to be there before the flame comes, the path of preparation is there just before the burning, or abandoning, of the delusions. After you reach tip, no heresy can arise. With patience, you can never again be reborn in the lower realms. You then progress through sublime Dharma to the path of seeing.

Anyway, this is just a very brief explanation. There are two stages: equipoise meditation and post-meditation, following the achievement. And within equipoise meditation, there are the path without interruption and the liberated path. (There is also a path that is neither of them.) Actualizing the path without interruption is the antidote to delusion, and with the liberated path, 112 disturbing-thought obscurations are abandoned, or removed from there.

Then path of meditation is similar, with the removal of 116 delusions. Now here I’m talking about the Mahayana path not about the Hinayana path. I’m talking about the Mahayana path of seeing and the Mahayana path of meditation. By actualizing the path of meditation, you also remove 116 subtle defilements.

So, this is just a very brief explanation of how those paths remove the gross and subtle defilements. And when the subtle defilements are completely ceased, the state of omniscience is actualized.

Now, here, this is an unbelievable experience. You’re discovering what is the hallucination and what is the truth, emptiness. You now realize that what you have been holding on to and believing to be true during beginningless rebirths is totally false, totally empty. You now realize that it doesn’t exist. During beginningless rebirths, what exists has been unknown to you, undiscovered by you. Now you see the truth for the all-obscuring mind (kun tsob kyi denpa). Conventional truth has become the common translation for this term, but I’m not sure that it exactly fits the Tibetan. To use the normal term, you see the conventional truth of how things exist. You see that the I exists but it exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind. This is unbelievably subtle—almost like it doesn’t exist. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, but it’s like it doesn’t exist. This is the reality of how everything exists.

So, this is sutra mahamudra. With this discovery, you cut ignorance and realize as empty what you have been believing as true during beginningless rebirths. That’s how you can liberate yourself from all these superstitious thoughts, all these wrong concepts, and from karma. When you remove even the seed of those delusions, you then achieve liberation. Of course, higher than that is enlightenment, for sentient beings.

So, I think I’ll stop here. Maybe you can meditate for a while. Maybe you can do some meditation on it tomorrow.

The English-speaking ones can now do meditation. You’ve got the idea so now you can meditate.

[Ven. Sophia does a very long translation into Chinese.]

I owe debts to Sophia for many, many eons!

Here I’ve been talking about sutra mahamudra, but there’s a secret meditation on the guru entering the heart. It’s not just meditating on emptiness, but on the guru entering the heart. But that’s a very secret practice that requires Highest Yoga Tantra initiation. It’s basically meditation on emptiness, but you have to do it with that secret meditation. For those who have received billions of initiations, there’s nothing to say. For those who haven’t received a Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, there’s a verse on mahamudra:

If you let go, there is no doubt that you will achieve liberation.

If you let your mind hold strongly to all these hallucinations, thinking that they’re true, if you never let go, you will never achieve liberation. So, that’s what has happened up to now. If you had let go instead of clinging to them, there is no doubt you would have achieved liberation.

Instead of holding on to as true the I held by ignorance, you have to look at it as false, as a hallucination. You have to look at it in the totally opposite way. You then let go, and you suddenly see that what you have been believing during beginningless rebirths is not true. You suddenly see that it is empty.

Once you experience that, you have full confidence that you can achieve liberation from samsara. Then, from there, with wisdom, you can cease the subtle defilements and achieve enlightenment.

We will now dedicate the merits. “Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and by others, may loving kindness, compassion and bodhicitta be actualized in my own heart, in the hearts of my family members, those who are living and those who have passed away (you should do the same prayer for your family members as you do for yourself), and in the hearts of all sentient beings without even a second’s delay. May those who have generated bodhicitta in their hearts increase it.”

This is the most urgent dedication.

“May bodhicitta be generated in the hearts of all the world leaders, so that all the millions of people in each country get much peace, happiness and success.”

Third, “Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me and by others, may bodhicitta be actualized in the hearts of all the people of all the many different religions without even a second’s delay.”

This dedication is extremely important for determining how much peace there will be in the world. If loving kindness, compassion and bodhicitta are generated, it will help sentient beings not to experience global warming and all the other dangers that are happening now or will happen in the future.

“Jang chhub sem chhog rin po chhe….” [3x]

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me and by others, may His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the embodiment of all the buddhas’ compassion in human form, have stable life, and may all his holy wishes be accomplished immediately.

“Gang ri ra wäi khor wä zhing kham dir….

“Tong nyi nying je zung du jug päi lam….

“Päl dän la mai ku tshe tän pa dang….”

Also dedicate the merits in the same way for all other gurus.

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me and the merits of the three times collected by others, may all the father and mother sentient beings have happiness; may the three lower realms be empty of beings forever; and may all the bodhisattvas’ prayers be accomplished immediately.”

This prayer includes everything; everything you need to accomplish for all sentient beings is there. So, you then pray to be able to do that.

“And may I be able to cause all this to happen by myself alone.

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me and collected by others, may anybody who sees me, touches me, remembers me, thinks of me, talks about me, dreams of me or even sees my photo, no matter what connection they make—harm or help—just by that, may it immediately pacify all their sufferings, mental and physical, and purify their negative karmas. May they find faith in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and also have devotion to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, as well as faith in karma, action and result (or cause and effect). May they actualize bodhicitta and achieve enlightenment quickly.”

So, pray in that way.

It means that their seeing you, talking about you or making some other connection with you becomes wish-fulfilling for all sentient beings, including enabling them to achieve enlightenment quickly.

“Thong ngam thö sam je su drän kyang rung….

“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times collected by others, which are merely labeled by mind, the I, who is merely labeled by mind, achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which is also merely labeled by mind, and lead all sentient beings, who are merely labeled by mind, to that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which is also merely labeled by mind, by myself alone, who is also merely labeled by mind.”

When you think of merely labeled by mind, it should be same as thinking it’s empty. That understanding should come. Even though you say “merely labeled,” the thought “it’s empty” should come in your heart. These two are unified, not separate. That’s the unmistaken way of realizing emptiness or of completing the actualizing of emptiness. You realize that these two are not separate on one object, one phenomenon. For example, the I unifies these two. While the I is merely imputed by mind, it’s empty; while it’s empty, it exists, existing in mere name, merely imputed by mind.

It’s going to be a very late night, but I think that chanting the bodhisattva’s prayer, King of Prayers, for you and your family members is very important. It’s needed for all the family members who have passed away, as well as for those who are living. You must recite this prayer for yourself and for all your family. It didn’t happen yesterday, but we will recite it today. You can read it in Chinese.

Ven. Sophia: Does Rinpoche mean the King of Prayers?

Rinpoche: Yes. Not the Queen of Prayers. Otherwise, it will take until tomorrow sunrise. I’m joking.

We’ll recite the King of Prayers for world peace and for all sentient beings. We will do something for all sentient beings, particularly the sentient beings in this world.

Those who speak English can read it in English, and the others can read it in Chinese. Or if you want to read it in Japanese, that’s okay. Everybody can recite together.

[The group recites King of Prayers in Chinese while Rinpoche recites it in Tibetan.]

You can read the lam-rim dedication in Chinese while I chant it in Tibetan. Or if you can chant it in Chinese, that would work very well.

[The group chants Final Lam-Rim Prayer in Tibetan and Chinese.]

“Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….

“Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….”

So, good morning, good evening. Good morning first, then good night.

Thank you very much. Hsieh, hsieh. Thank you.